A silent protest took place this morning where activists sat outside Reading Crown whilst attendees of the court filed past them. 

This is the fourth time a protest of this sort has taken place outside the courts. 

The protesters staged the vigil as on Tuesday July 2 police arrested a group of 11 people for holding signs outside Southwark Crown Court which said “Juries deserve to hear the whole truth” and “Juries have the absolute right to acquit a defendant on their conscience.”

A twelfth person, holding a blank sign was not arrested. The police action was taken on the orders of Judge Hehir, a Crown Court Judge, who described the sign-holders as ‘trouble-makers.'

The activists believe that Judge’s actions come amid mounting concerns that the government’s so-called ‘crackdown on protest’ is undermining fundamental democratic rights in the UK, such as rights to freedom of expression and assembly. 

Helen Wright, 59, from Reading said that the activists are stationed at the court in response to the arrest of the 11 protestors. 

Helen WrightHelen Wright (Image: nq)

"We are holding these signs which are statements of fact and are not controversial in any way," she said. 

"We are also avoiding the eyes of anyone who is going into the court so we are not intimidating them in the slightest. We are just getting the message out there."

Ms Wright explained that there is a nationwide protest going on this week in solidarity with those who were arrested for doing the same thing. 

The Solicitor General, one of the government’s most senior lawyers, also brought contempt of court proceedings against fellow protestor Trudi Warner, which were considered by the High Court in April this year.

In dismissing the Solicitor General’s case, Mr Justice Saini said “It is fanciful to suggest that Ms Warner’s behaviour falls into this category of contempt. The category is limited to threatening, intimidatory, abusive conduct or other forms of harassment …

"The prosecution of the Insulate Britain cases, the decisions of law reached by judges in those cases, and the scope for the jury to hear evidence on matters of conscience in relation to offences allegedly committed as acts of political protest have become matters of serious public debate … A criminal prosecution is a disproportionate approach to this situation in a democratic society.”

Mrs Wright said that Trudi Warner is still waiting for an appeal, which will be in around a year's time. "This will be hanging over her head," she said.